Where Millennials Want to Work in 2021

Workplaces that support equity, transparency, flexibility and purpose take top marks among millennial employees, according to the 2021 Fortune Best Workplaces for Millennials survey.

Great Place to Work has announced the 2021 Fortune Best Workplaces for Millennials, as determined through their analysis of over 300,000 millennial employee opinions in the U.S.

Based on confidential employee surveys, it was found that millennials are, more than any other generation, seeking equity, transparency, flexibility and purpose. And they’re not afraid to quit if an employer doesn’t meet their needs.

Millennials are experiencing a gap in pay and personal meaning compared to boomers and Gen Xers

Millennials without children are at the greatest risk for turnover

Gender equity is cited as a workplace concern more frequently by millennials than any other generation

Topping the list for the second year in a row in the small- & medium-sized company category is Asana at #1. In the #2 spot was list newcomer Better.com, followed by NerdWallet (#3) who climbed 18 spots from last year.

In the large-sized category, #1 is Cisco, which has been recognized on the list since 2016. Salesforce, Hilton and Pinnacle Financial Partners followed in 2nd, 3rd and 4th place respectively.

Great Place to Work — the global authority on company culture — determines the list each year through rigorous analysis of data from their proprietary Trust Index employee experience survey.

Nine in ten millennial employees at the companies on this year’s list say they want to stay with their current employer a long time.

Pay and personal meaning separates the Best Workplaces from other companies

More than any other generation, millennials are experiencing a gap in pay and meaning. The percentage of millennials surveyed who feel they are paid fairly and that their work has purpose beyond just a job are 7 to 10 points lower than boomers and Gen Xers.

But the Best Workplaces recognize the unique dynamics affecting millennials, a generation grappling with the financial strain of starting families while still paying off student loans.

At the Best Workplaces, 85% of millennials said they feel they are paid fairly for the work they do, versus at non-winners, where only 67% said they have fair pay.

Millennials will leave a workplace if it’s the wrong fit

If pay and purpose don’t align, millennials aren’t afraid to walk. In fact, according to the survey, millennials are nearly 4x more likely to intend to leave their job than Boomers, and 11x more than Gen X.

Millennials without children or eldercare responsibilities are at the greatest risk of turnover, with only 79% saying they plan to stay at their job for a long time, compared to 85% for millennials with caregiving duties.

#MeToo: Gender equity a top concern for millennial employees

Among employee comments, the terms “gender equity” and “male counterpart” were mentioned by millennials more than by other generations and more than in any previous year’s survey.

But Best Workplaces, such as real estate marketplace Zillow (number 24 on the list), are actively working to elevate women and bring transparent pay across their organizations. Zillow runs twice-annual checks on pay, and for the past 12 months has maintained pay parity between genders doing the same work.

“We ensure we have equitable standards for work not based on the person,” says Leah Sakas, vice president of central operations at Zillow. “It’s the output, not who the person is.”

Flexibility is on millennials’ minds post-pandemic

In their survey comments, millennials mentioned COVID more than any other generation and nearly 50% more than Gen X. Much of their comments were requests to continue flexible work arrangements, with the option to connect with colleagues through team outings when they can return safely.

Bankers Healthcare Group (position number 11) has hired people across 32 states as part of its hybrid model over the past year and a half. The company says the shift has enabled them to hire talent they previously wouldn’t have been able to find or attract.

Millennials want safe spaces where diverse people can be heard

Millennials also want workplaces that are willing to address issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB), particularly in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests.

The Best Workplaces are those that are willing to hold those safe spaces and put power in employees’ hands. Mortgage lender Better.com (at #2) boasts 11 different employee resource groups to address DEIB that are entirely grassroots and employee-driven.

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